ISRO Shares New Images While Also Revealing Plans For Chandrayaan-3

Chandrayaan-2 is alive and well, and snapping pictures as ISRO shared a new photo of the lunar surface captured by the orbiter. Chandrayaan-2, which has several scientific, imaging and mapping instruments onboard, has captured its first three-dimensional map of a structure on the moon- an impact crater.

The image, captured by the orbiter’s Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2), is the first comprehensive three-dimensional (3D) map of a lunar crater. The TMC-2 instrument can provide images at 5m-spatial resolution from an altitude of 100 km to create a “Digital Elevation Model” or DEM of the entire lunar surface. The TMC-2 is the successor of the TMC that was present on the Chandrayaan-1 mission and is capable of taking images from a distance of 100 km while orbiting. Images are captured by a stereo triplet system where different images are captured in three separate views including ‘fore’, ‘nadir’, and ‘aft’. These images are combined to generate a Digital Elevation Model or DEM of the entire lunar surface.

This year, on September 7, ISRO attempted a soft landing of Chandrayaan-2’s ‘Vikram’ on the unchartered lunar South Pole, before losing communication with the lander. And now, after two months of that unsuccessful bid, India is looking to attempt another soft landing on the Moon by next year-end, probably in November, according to sources. ISRO had constituted a high-level committee, headed by S Somanath, Director of Thiruvanathapuram-based Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, to prepare a report on the proposed Chandrayaan-3. A senior ISRO official was quoted saying, “The panel’s report is awaited. The committee has been given a guideline to prepare the mission before the end of next year”.




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